Music Metrics Vault

Jim Croce

Data updated on 2024-07-21 15:58:49 UTC
In the music industry, arguably the worst tragedy that can befall an artist is to die in his or her prime, when just beginning to break through to the mainstream and reach people on a national or international level. One such artist was Jim Croce, a songwriter with a knack for both upbeat, catchy singles and empathetic, melancholy ballads. Though Croce only recorded a few studio albums before an untimely plane crash, he continues to be remembered posthumously. Croce appealed to fans as a common man, and it was not a gimmick -- he was a father and husband who went through a series of blue-collar jobs. And whether he used dry wit, gentle emotions, or sorrow, Croce sang with a rare form of honesty and power. Few artists have ever been able to pull off such down-to-earth storytelling as convincingly as he did.

James Joseph Croce was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, on January 10, 1943. Raised on ragtime and country, Croce played the accordion as a child and would eventually teach himself the guitar. It wasn't until his freshman year of college that he began to take music seriously, forming several bands over the next few years. After graduation, he continued to play various gigs at local bars and parties, working as both a teacher and construction worker to support himself and his wife, Ingrid. In 1969, the Croces and an old friend from college, Tommy West, moved to New York and record an album. When the Jim and Ingrid record failed to sell, they moved to a farm in Lyndell, Pennsylvania, where Jim juggled several jobs, including singing for radio commercials. Eventually he was noticed and signed by the ABC/Dunhill label and released his second album, You Don't Mess Around with Jim, in 1972. The record spawned three hits: "You Don't Mess Around With Jim," "Operator (That's Not the Way It Feels)," and "Time in a Bottle," the latter ultimately shooting all the way to number one on the Billboard charts. Croce quickly followed with Life and Times in early 1973 and gained his first number one hit with "Bad, Bad Leroy Brown."

After four years of grueling tour schedules, Croce grew homesick. Wishing to spend more time with Ingrid and his infant son Adrian James, he planned to take a break after the Life and Times tour was completed. Tragically, the tour would never finish; just two months after "Bad, Bad Leroy Brown" topped the charts, Croce's plane crashed in Natchitoches, Louisiana. Croce and the four other passengers (including bandmember Maury Muehleisen) were killed instantly.

Croce's career peaked after his death. In December of 1973, the album I Got a Name surfaced, but it was "Time in a Bottle," from 1972's You Don't Mess Around with Jim, that would become his second number one single. Shortly afterwards, "I'll Have to Say I Love You in a Song" reached the Top Ten. Several albums were released posthumously, most notably the greatest hits collection Photographs & Memories, which became a best-seller. Several other compilations were later issued, such as the 1992 release The 50th Anniversary Collection and the 2000 compilation Time in a Bottle: The Definitive Collection. Listening to the songs Croce recorded, one cannot help but wonder how far his extraordinary talents could have taken him if he would have lived longer. Unfortunately, such a question may only be looked at rhetorically, but Jim Croce continues to live on in the impressive catalog of songs he left behind. ~ Barry Weber, Rovi

Total plays

1.3 billion
Updated on 2024-07-21

Country

United States

Monthly listeners

9,776,276

Followers

1,440,219

Top Cities

  1. United States
    100,841 listeners
  2. Australia
    112,432 listeners
  3. United States
    134,417 listeners
  4. United States
    112,605 listeners
  5. United States
    106,153 listeners

Most popular tracks

Track Plays Duration Release date
Time in a Bottle
Time in a Bottle
262,465,992 2:29 1972-04-01
Bad, Bad Leroy Brown
Bad, Bad Leroy Brown
149,713,903 2:59 1973-07-01
Walkin’ Back to Georgia
Walkin’ Back to Georgia
115,652,481 2:52 1972-04-01
Operator (That's Not the Way It Feels)
Operator (That's Not the Way It Feels)
113,299,982 3:50 1972-04-01
I Got a Name (Stereo Version)
I Got a Name (Stereo Version)
108,030,723 3:14 1973-12-01
I’ll Have to Say I Love You in a Song
I’ll Have to Say I Love You in a Song
94,885,778 2:35 1973-12-01
You Don't Mess Around with Jim
You Don't Mess Around with Jim
82,378,731 3:03 1972-04-01
You Don't Mess Around With Jim
You Don't Mess Around With Jim
82,378,731 2:59 2017-10-27
Photographs & Memories
Photographs & Memories
26,600,652 2:08 1974-09-26
Photographs and Memories
Photographs and Memories
26,600,652 2:08 1972-04-01
Tomorrow’s Gonna Be a Brighter Day
Tomorrow’s Gonna Be a Brighter Day
20,772,158 2:54 1972-04-01
Box #10
Box #10
18,046,204 2:27 1972-04-01
New York's Not My Home
New York's Not My Home
15,380,954 3:08 1972-04-01
Workin’ at the Car Wash Blues
Workin’ at the Car Wash Blues
14,433,473 2:34 1973-12-01
One Less Set of Footsteps
One Less Set of Footsteps
12,548,488 2:48 1973-07-01
Alabama Rain
Alabama Rain
10,890,371 2:14 1973-07-01
Lover's Cross
Lover's Cross
10,823,230 3:05 1973-12-01
Rapid Roy (The Stock Car Boy)
Rapid Roy (The Stock Car Boy)
10,020,086 2:46 1972-04-01
Hey Tomorrow
Hey Tomorrow
8,357,216 2:47 1972-04-01
A Long Time Ago
A Long Time Ago
8,166,530 2:22 1972-04-01
Roller Derby Queen
Roller Derby Queen
7,035,330 3:29 1973-07-01
These Dreams
These Dreams
6,593,969 3:14 1973-07-01
I Got A Name
I Got A Name
5,910,327 3:15 2012-01-01
Age
Age
5,416,330 3:45 1973-12-01
Dreamin’ Again
Dreamin’ Again
5,155,680 2:42 1973-07-01
Time in a Bottle - Demo
Time in a Bottle - Demo
5,113,428 2:24 2014-07-22
A Good Time Man Like Me - Demo
A Good Time Man Like Me - Demo
4,827,289 2:07 2014-07-22
A Good Time Man Like Me Ain't Got No Business (Singin' the Blues)
A Good Time Man Like Me Ain't Got No Business (Singin' the Blues)
4,416,511 2:07 1973-07-01
Next Time, This Time - Live at Harper College 2/5/73
Next Time, This Time - Live at Harper College 2/5/73
4,313,369 3:17 2014-07-22
Seems Like Such a Long Time Ago - Demo
Seems Like Such a Long Time Ago - Demo
4,250,978 2:22 2014-07-22
The Hard Way Every Time
The Hard Way Every Time
4,218,250 2:30 1973-12-01
Hard Time Losin’ Man
Hard Time Losin’ Man
3,636,195 2:29 1972-04-01
It Doesn't Have to Be That Way
It Doesn't Have to Be That Way
3,328,512 2:33 1973-07-01
Speedball Tucker
Speedball Tucker
3,019,067 2:26 1973-07-01
La Bamba - Live at Cazenovia College 1964
La Bamba - Live at Cazenovia College 1964
2,360,505 2:49 2014-07-22
Five Short Minutes
Five Short Minutes
2,353,451 3:29 1973-12-01
Operator - Demo
Operator - Demo
2,330,649 3:49 2014-07-22
Recently
Recently
2,317,864 2:34 1973-12-01
Which Way Are You Goin’?
Which Way Are You Goin’?
2,122,432 2:19 2011-07-25
Careful Man
Careful Man
2,096,777 2:23 1973-07-01
Thursday
Thursday
1,959,538 2:28 1973-12-01
Next Time, This Time
Next Time, This Time
1,956,021 2:53 1973-07-01
Ol’ Man River
Ol’ Man River
1,753,910 2:29 2011-07-25
Salon and Saloon
Salon and Saloon
1,700,528 2:31 1973-12-01
Careful Man - Live at Harper College 2/5/73
Careful Man - Live at Harper College 2/5/73
1,687,949 1:59 2014-07-22
Time In a Bottle
Time In a Bottle
1,552,468 2:58 2021-01-29
Chain Gang Medley
Chain Gang Medley
1,519,163 4:40 2011-07-25
Child of Midnight
Child of Midnight
1,441,499 2:51 2011-07-25
Cigarettes, Whiskey and Wild Wild Women
Cigarettes, Whiskey and Wild Wild Women
1,401,608 1:49 2003-01-01
Cigarettes, Whiskey and Wild, Wild Women
Cigarettes, Whiskey and Wild, Wild Women
1,401,608 1:48 2011-07-25
San Francisco Bay Blues - Live at Cazenovia College 1964
San Francisco Bay Blues - Live at Cazenovia College 1964
1,338,952 2:47 2014-07-22
Hard Time Losin' Man - Demo
Hard Time Losin' Man - Demo
1,327,894 2:14 2014-07-22
New York's Not My Home - Live at Harper College 2/5/73
New York's Not My Home - Live at Harper College 2/5/73
1,229,157 3:23 2014-07-22
You Don't Mess Around with Jim - Live at Harper College 2/5/73
You Don't Mess Around with Jim - Live at Harper College 2/5/73
1,132,043 2:51 2014-07-22
I Got a Name - Live 1973
I Got a Name - Live 1973
1,085,118 3:10 2014-07-22
Ball of Kirriemuir (Live)
Ball of Kirriemuir (Live)
1,038,062 3:31 1989-01-01
Top Hat Bar & Grille
Top Hat Bar & Grille
1,006,361 2:49 1973-12-01
(And) I Remember Her
(And) I Remember Her
963,400 2:50 2011-07-25
Steel Rail Blues
Steel Rail Blues
879,772 2:17 1966-01-01
Bad, Bad Leroy Brown (Demo)
Bad, Bad Leroy Brown (Demo)
844,624 2:43 2014-06-30
Stone Walls
Stone Walls
835,432 2:59 2011-07-25
Seek and You Shall Find - Live at Cazenovia College 1964
Seek and You Shall Find - Live at Cazenovia College 1964
793,819 2:51 2014-07-22
King’s Song
King’s Song
747,005 3:24 2011-07-25
Shopping for Clothes (Live)
Shopping for Clothes (Live)
701,064 2:33 1989-01-01
Coal Tattoo
Coal Tattoo
653,243 2:17 1966-01-01
Hard Times Be Over
Hard Times Be Over
652,861 1:52 1966-01-01
Tractor Trailer Story Intro - Live at Harper College 2/5/73
Tractor Trailer Story Intro - Live at Harper College 2/5/73
615,423 6:24 2014-07-22
Trucker (Monologue) ( Live) - Monologue; Live
Trucker (Monologue) ( Live) - Monologue; Live
560,316 7:14 1989-01-01
It Doesn't Have to Be That Way - Live at Harper College 2/5/73
It Doesn't Have to Be That Way - Live at Harper College 2/5/73
523,152 2:57 2014-07-22
Speedball Tucker - Demo
Speedball Tucker - Demo
514,341 0:51 2014-07-22
One Less Set of Footsteps - Live at Harper College 2/5/73
One Less Set of Footsteps - Live at Harper College 2/5/73
514,273 2:44 2014-07-22
Dreamin' Again - Live at Harper College 2/5/73
Dreamin' Again - Live at Harper College 2/5/73
486,630 2:50 2014-07-22
Roller Derby Queen - Live at Harper College 2/5/73
Roller Derby Queen - Live at Harper College 2/5/73
484,999 2:56 2014-07-22
Railroads And Riverboats
Railroads And Riverboats
473,107 3:13 1966-01-01
Bar Story Intro - Live at Harper College 2/5/73
Bar Story Intro - Live at Harper College 2/5/73
453,040 8:11 2014-07-22
You Don't Mess Around With Jim - 50th Anniversary Edition
You Don't Mess Around With Jim - 50th Anniversary Edition
436,981 2:45 2022-12-16
Washington at Valley Forge - Live at Cazenovia College 1964
Washington at Valley Forge - Live at Cazenovia College 1964
416,677 3:55 2014-07-22
Sun Come Up
Sun Come Up
402,369 2:06 1966-01-01
Woke up This Morning - Live at Cazenovia College 1964
Woke up This Morning - Live at Cazenovia College 1964
381,554 2:09 2014-07-22
Charley Green, Play That Slide Trombone - Live at Cazenovia College 1964
Charley Green, Play That Slide Trombone - Live at Cazenovia College 1964
371,327 2:35 2014-07-22
I Got a Name
I Got a Name
314,500 3:13 2008-01-01
Introduction to "Workin' At The Car Wash Blues" - Live
Introduction to "Workin' At The Car Wash Blues" - Live
296,231 0:32 2006-01-01
Operator - 50th Anniversary Edition
Operator - 50th Anniversary Edition
289,161 3:46 2023-02-10
Cotton Mouth River
Cotton Mouth River
287,633 1:60 2011-07-25
Railroad Song
Railroad Song
256,513 2:56 1966-01-01
It's All Over Mary Ann
It's All Over Mary Ann
247,021 2:35 1966-01-01
The Way We Used To
The Way We Used To
235,250 2:30 2011-07-25
Operator (That's Not the Way It Feels) (Live)
Operator (That's Not the Way It Feels) (Live)
193,516 4:08 1989-01-01
Tomorrow's Gonna Be a Brighter Day - 50th Anniversary Edition
Tomorrow's Gonna Be a Brighter Day - 50th Anniversary Edition
161,265 2:38 2023-03-10
Mississippi Lady
Mississippi Lady
157,330 3:56 2011-07-25
Maybe Tomorrow
Maybe Tomorrow
140,207 2:31 2011-07-25
More Than That Tomorrow
More Than That Tomorrow
132,694 2:45 2011-07-25
The Migrant Worker
The Migrant Worker
124,793 1:55 2011-07-25
The Ballad of Gunga Din
The Ballad of Gunga Din
110,969 4:06 1966-01-01
Country Girl
Country Girl
109,646 1:49 2011-07-25
Roller Derby Queen (Live)
Roller Derby Queen (Live)
98,807 2:58 1989-01-01
Roller Derby Queen (Monologue) ( Live) - Monologue; Live
Roller Derby Queen (Monologue) ( Live) - Monologue; Live
98,267 5:30 1989-01-01
These Dreams (Live)
These Dreams (Live)
97,144 3:55 1989-01-01
Next Time, This Time (Live)
Next Time, This Time (Live)
92,944 3:46 1989-01-01
Time in a Bottle
Time in a Bottle
87,591 2:34 2003-11-17
You Don’t Mess Around With Jim - Live
You Don’t Mess Around With Jim - Live
85,358 2:46 2006-01-01
It Doesn't Have to Be That Way (Live)
It Doesn't Have to Be That Way (Live)
79,722 2:53 1989-01-01
Ball of Kirriemuir (Monologue) ( Live) - Monologue; Live
Ball of Kirriemuir (Monologue) ( Live) - Monologue; Live
75,006 2:50 1989-01-01
Texas Rodeo
Texas Rodeo
74,164 1:44 1966-01-01
Operator (That's Not The Way It Feels) - Live
Operator (That's Not The Way It Feels) - Live
69,382 3:31 2006-01-01
Careful Man (Live)
Careful Man (Live)
68,887 1:60 1989-01-01
Child of Midnight
Child of Midnight
67,210 2:50 1966-01-01
Careful Man (Monologue) ( Live) - Monologue; Live
Careful Man (Monologue) ( Live) - Monologue; Live
60,901 2:08 1989-01-01
Bad Bad, Leroy Brown - Live
Bad Bad, Leroy Brown - Live
60,886 2:50 2006-01-01
Workin' At The Car Wash Blues - Live
Workin' At The Car Wash Blues - Live
57,657 2:05 2006-01-01
Nobody Loves a Fat Girl
Nobody Loves a Fat Girl
52,674 1:59 2003-01-01
Until It's Time For Me To Go
Until It's Time For Me To Go
47,553 3:06 1966-01-01
Mama Tried
Mama Tried
45,354 2:35 2003-01-01
The Blizzard
The Blizzard
44,891 2:54 1966-01-01
Charlie Green, Play That Slide Trombone
Charlie Green, Play That Slide Trombone
43,980 2:27 1966-01-01
Hard Hearted Hannah (The Vamp from Savannah)
Hard Hearted Hannah (The Vamp from Savannah)
43,002 1:58 1966-01-01
Roller Derby Queen - Live
Roller Derby Queen - Live
39,592 2:41 2006-01-01
In The Jailhouse Now
In The Jailhouse Now
38,876 1:52 2003-01-01
PA (Song For A Grandfather)
PA (Song For A Grandfather)
36,788 1:51 1966-01-01
Living With The Blues
Living With The Blues
36,541 1:60 2003-01-01
The Wall
The Wall
36,139 4:35 2003-01-01
Big Fat Woman
Big Fat Woman
33,095 1:59 1966-01-01
Maybe Tomorrow
Maybe Tomorrow
32,896 2:30 1966-01-01
Six Days On The Road
Six Days On The Road
32,700 1:32 2003-01-01
Introduction to "Roller Derby Queen" - Live
Introduction to "Roller Derby Queen" - Live
32,551 1:11 2006-01-01
Lover's Cross - Live
Lover's Cross - Live
32,421 2:57 2006-01-01
Running Maggie
Running Maggie
31,846 1:52 1966-01-01
One Less Set Of Footsteps - Live
One Less Set Of Footsteps - Live
31,615 2:32 2006-01-01
Rapid Roy (The Stockcar Boy) - Live
Rapid Roy (The Stockcar Boy) - Live
30,175 2:34 2006-01-01
New York's Not My Home - Live
New York's Not My Home - Live
29,107 2:60 2006-01-01
Who Will Buy The Wine
Who Will Buy The Wine
28,682 1:30 2003-01-01
Next Time, This Time - Live
Next Time, This Time - Live
28,536 2:49 2006-01-01
You Oughta See Pickles Now
You Oughta See Pickles Now
28,517 2:10 2003-01-01
Things 'Bout Goin' My Way
Things 'Bout Goin' My Way
27,642 2:04 2003-01-01
Speedball Tucker - Live
Speedball Tucker - Live
27,485 2:23 2006-01-01
If The Backdoor Could Talk
If The Backdoor Could Talk
26,335 1:43 2003-01-01
Introduction to "Speedball Tucker" - Live
Introduction to "Speedball Tucker" - Live
25,897 3:26 2006-01-01
The Hard Way Every Time - Live
The Hard Way Every Time - Live
24,365 2:33 2006-01-01
I Got Mine
I Got Mine
24,155 2:48 2003-01-01
Introduction to "Bad Bad, Leroy Brown" - Live
Introduction to "Bad Bad, Leroy Brown" - Live
23,576 1:37 2006-01-01
Mom and Dad's Waltz
Mom and Dad's Waltz
23,327 1:20 2003-01-01
These Dreams - Live
These Dreams - Live
23,226 3:08 2006-01-01
Hard Time Losing Man - Live
Hard Time Losing Man - Live
21,832 2:14 2006-01-01
Introduction to "Rapid Boy" - Live
Introduction to "Rapid Boy" - Live
21,398 2:03 2006-01-01
Sadie Green (The Vamp of New Orleans)
Sadie Green (The Vamp of New Orleans)
21,024 1:42 2003-01-01
Wish I Could Shimmy Like My Sister Kate
Wish I Could Shimmy Like My Sister Kate
19,968 1:40 2003-01-01
Bad Leroy Brown
Bad Leroy Brown
16,465 2:45 2014-09-16
Bad, Bad Leroy Brown
Bad, Bad Leroy Brown
12,846 3:27 2007-01-01
Bad Bad Leroy Brown
Bad Bad Leroy Brown
7,753 2:52 2018-06-27
Time In a Bottle
Time In a Bottle
6,138 3:25 2015-05-26
Bad, Bad Leroy Brown (arr. D. Mensinger and A. Hirtreiter for vocal ensemble)
Bad, Bad Leroy Brown (arr. D. Mensinger and A. Hirtreiter for vocal ensemble)
5,930 3:17 2017-03-17
Time in a Bottle
Time in a Bottle
3,271 3:04 2019-10-06
Playing Alongside Time In A Bottle
Playing Alongside Time In A Bottle
1,341 2:31 2024-07-05
Bad, Bad Leroy Brown (Arr. by Henk Ummels)
Bad, Bad Leroy Brown (Arr. by Henk Ummels)
< 1000 3:31 2000-04-05
Bad Bad Leroy Brown (Arr. by Henk Ummels)
Bad Bad Leroy Brown (Arr. by Henk Ummels)
< 1000 3:03 2007-10-11

New releases

Playing Alongside Time In A Bottle
Playing Alongside Time In A Bottle
2024-07-05
[5766878 Records DK]
Demo Tapes (50th Anniversary Edition)
Demo Tapes (50th Anniversary Edition)
2023-04-21
[Croce Music Publishing]
Demo Tapes (50th Anniversary Edition)
Demo Tapes (50th Anniversary Edition)
2023-03-10
[Croce Music Publishing]
Demo Tapes (50th Anniversary Edition)
Demo Tapes (50th Anniversary Edition)
2023-02-10
[Croce Music Publishing]
Demo Tapes (50th Anniversary Edition)
Demo Tapes (50th Anniversary Edition)
2022-12-16
[Croce Music Publishing]
The Definitive Croce
The Definitive Croce
2015-05-25
[R2M]
Lost Time in a Bottle
Lost Time in a Bottle
2014-07-22
[Cleopatra Records]
Greatest
Greatest
2013-01-21
[R2M]
The Original Albums…Plus
The Original Albums…Plus
2011-07-25
[R2M]
Have You Heard: Jim Croce Live
Have You Heard: Jim Croce Live
2006-01-01
[Croce Music Publishing]
Home Recordings: Americana
Home Recordings: Americana
2003-01-01
[Croce Music Publishing]
Live: The Final Tour
Live: The Final Tour
1989-01-01
[R2M]
Photographs & Memories: His Greatest Hits
Photographs & Memories: His Greatest Hits
1974-09-26
[BMG Rights Management (US) LLC]
I Got a Name
I Got a Name
1973-12-01
[R2M]
It Doesn't Have To Be That Way (His Christmas Love Song)
It Doesn't Have To Be That Way (His Christmas Love Song)
1973-12-01
[BMG Rights Management (US) LLC]
Life & Times
Life & Times
1973-07-01
[R2M]
You Don't Mess Around With Jim
You Don't Mess Around With Jim
1972-04-01
[R2M]
Facets
Facets
1966-01-01
[Croce Music Publishing]